Encouragement for Parents of Children with Special Needs

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You experience a whirlwind of emotions when you first discover that your child has special needs. Gillian Marchenko knows this reality all too well. In this post she shares from her own experience, giving practical advice on how parents can navigate this difficult season. Gillian is author of Son Shine Down, a memoir about her personal journey of being a parent of a special needs child. 


Describe what it was like when you first found out your child has special needs.
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Gillian made clear that "you can be devastated by a diagnosis, and that doesn't mean that you don't care for your child or you're not glad that they're there." How have you experienced a tension between the joy of your child's birth and the sorrow of their diagnosis?
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Gillian mentioned that her time in God's Word suffered early on in her child's diagnosis, but eventually she found solace in reading the Psalms. What passages of Scripture have been particularly encouraging or grounding for you?
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What role has community played in your journey as a special needs parent? If you don't have a community for support, how might you pursue one?
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Most parents will never know what it's like to get word that their child has special needs. Lean on a community of friends, family, and fellow believers for support as you navigate the flood of emotions, worry, and fear that you face. Stay grounded in God's Word as your foundation and source of life, trusting that He will never leave or forsake you or your child.


To read more about Gillian's personal journey as the parent of a special needs child, check out her book Sun Shine Down, here.